Mohamed Salah wins award. In other news, water is wet and the sky is blue.
Ever since joining Liverpool from AS Roma in the summer of 2017, it feels like the Egyptian has been breaking records and winning awards almost on a weekly basis.
To the extent where it’s a surprise when he goes through a matchday without adding to his goalscoring totals, and is unable to break his latest record or stake his claim for the latest award as a result.
But have no fear, after one such weekend where Salah was kept quiet against Tottenham as the Reds were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw, we’ve come along to nudge us all back into normality with the latest winner of the Reach Fans’ Footballer of the Year award.
Having lifted the inaugural prize in 2020, it is perhaps no surprise that it is indeed the Egyptian King that supporters crowned their champion again for 2021.
He might not have been able to add a second Champions League or Premier League winner’s medal to his collection this year, but the 29-year-old is one of the very best around and continues to prove it on a weekly basis.
Nearly 140,000 supporters from all over the country voted in this year’s awards as Salah came out on top, finishing comfortably ahead of the likes of Jorginho, proving at the very least that our readers have a better eye than those involved in the Ballon d’Or, where an unflattering seventh place finish will only motivate him further.
While Salah’s team honours to date might be slightly limited for a player of his talents, with two Swiss Super League titles the only silverware he can boast alongside his four winner’s medals at Anfield, it’s a different story individually.
A look at his Wikipedia page (I know, I know), and the amount of honours listed is, quite frankly, staggering.
Various Player of the season and Footballer of the Year awards, Player of the Month, Goal of the Month, Goal of the Season, Golden Boots, Team of the Tournament, Squad of the Season, Player of the Decade, Team of the Decade, the Puskas award – the list goes on and on and on.
And that’s not including all those records for most goals in a season, most goals in the Champions League, most consecutive games scored in or fastest player to reach 100 goals.
With 22 goals to his name already this season, it’s inevitable that records will continue to be broken in 2022. And with Liverpool challenging for domestic and European silverware and Egypt competing in the Africa Cup of Nations and potentially the World Cup too, the honours, both individually and collectively, should continue to pile up in the New Year too.
On current form, you’d even say he’s the early favourite to win next year’s Ballon d’Or and usurp Lionel Messi as the world’s greatest once and for all.
So why haven’t Liverpool tied him down to a new contract yet?
Barcelona were prepared to virtually bankrupt themselves to retain the legendary Argentine’s services after years of financial mismanagement, and while no-one is suggesting the Reds should put themselves in such a dire situation to keep hold of Salah, there are some players you move the heaven and earth to have play for your club and the Egyptian is one such player.
Besides, he wants to stay and Jurgen Klopp wants his deal, which expires in 2023, to be extended too.
“But the decision is in the hands of the management and they have to solve this issue.
“There is no problem but we have to reach an agreement for the contract. It’s up to them.
“Your financial value shows how much the club appreciates you and that they are ready to do anything for you to stay, but the decision itself is not based on those financial matters only.
“There are things like the ambition of the team and the coach and what he wants to do with the team and the players he wants. These are all important points when making the decision.”
He continued: “I read what was said about Xavi’s interest to sign me. This is something that makes me happy that a team like Barcelona is interested in me, but I’m happy in Liverpool and we will see what happens in the future.
“At the moment, I prefer to stay in the Premier League as it’s the strongest league in the world.”
Meanwhile, it was only this weekend when Klopp reiterated his own desires.
“We are in really good conversations,” the Reds boss told Sky Sports News ahead of his side’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
“I want it to happen, but when? I couldn’t care less. We’re having good conversations. That’s the answer.”
Should Salah agree fresh terms with Liverpool, he will become the best-paid player in the club’s history and commit the rest of his days as one of world football’s elite to the Reds.
The best in the world, it’s perfectly understandably why he wants to be paid accordingly. If he isn’t at Anfield, he’ll go somewhere where he will be and he won’t be shy of potential suitors.
Wherever Salah is plying his trade in the years ahead, goals, wins and trophies are a certainty, and it’ll be a painful watch for Liverpool fans if, when so keen to stay, he ends up delivering such returns elsewhere.
As Pharaohs captain, his allegiance to his homeland will continue until the day he hangs up his boots and beyond, with his place as their favourite son and greatest ever player already secure.
Salah has the potential to achieve similar at Liverpool but only if they agree on a new contract.
Winning the the Reach Fans’ Footballer of the Year award for the second year running, he is ending 2021 in style and it’ll be no surprise to see him make it a hat-trick in 12 months’ time.
But that is just the beginning. The stage is set for 2022 to be a huge year for Salah and the Reds and Egypt should be excited to be along for the ride.
For the Egyptian King’s Liverpool reign to continue long after that, well the ball is in FSG’s court.